« Fake Anthrax package sent to Pioneer Press | Main | Shelters struggling to accommodate homeless »

Haiti school collapses

A three-story school in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti collapsed Friday morning during a celebration of the school's birthday. According to CNN.com, the accident left 84 dead, and 150 injured. It is unknown exactly how many people remain trapped among the rubble.

On Sunday, relatives of those trapped within the College La Promesse Evangelique picked at the ruins with shovels and picks in hopes of rescuing their loved ones. They were eventually pushed away by police, who cited safety concerns. CNN.com reported that U.S. and French rescue teams were fearful that the vibrations from power generators would cause the concrete at the site to shake loose, and cause more casualties.

Approximately 700 people were at the scene when the school collapsed, however, another source claimed there were as few as 250, meaning that the actual number of those trapped is only a portion of the estimated 100-200.

Officials said that most of the students ranged from ages 10-20, however, some of the students were much younger than that. Since the accident, 4 children have been rescued.

Fortin Augustin, the school's owner turned himself in, and was questioned by authorities on Sunday. According to The Straits Times, Augustin has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Haiti's president ,Rene Preval, has visited the school three times since its collapse. He told the Straits Times that poor construction and a lack of steel reinforcements were likely to be the cause of the collapse, and warned that structures throughout Haiti run a similar risk.